Japan to dissolve parliament, setting stage for election that will test new leader

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Japan will dissolve its parliament on Thursday, setting the stage for an election at the end of the month that will pit new prime minister Fumio Kishida in a fight against an unpopular opposition that may better recover the pandemic-battered economy .

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Kishida enjoys reasonable public support for 11 days in the job, polls show, bodes well for his goal of retaining a lower house majority for his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and his Komito Party coalition partner.

“I want to use the election to tell people what we are trying to do and what our goal is,” Kishida told reporters gathered in his office.

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Describing the past 11 days, Kishida said: “I’ve had a very busy schedule, but oddly enough, I don’t feel tired – I feel full.”

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Voters would like to see a government with a plan of decisive action to end the pandemic and rebuild the economy. A recent Sankei newspaper survey showed that nearly 48% say they want the Kishida administration to do the most work on the coronavirus, followed by economic recovery and employment.

Kishida’s party is promoting its push for coronavirus measures this year, including the supply of oral antiviral medicine, as well as his vision of realizing a “new capitalism” focused on economic growth and redistribution of wealth.

the ruling party also calls for rapid growth In defense spending to acquire the capability to destroy ballistic missiles amid China’s ever-increasing stance on Taiwan.

largest opposition partyThe Constitutional Democrats (CDPJ) led by Yukio Edano Highlighted Issues Like its support for same-sex marriage and different surnames for couples.

LDP remains socially conservative And, while there has been progress on LGBTQ rights in society, Kishida has stated that she is not in favor of same-sex marriage.

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The biggest challenge for the Constitutional Democrats is their low support rating. A recent poll by the Asahi Shimbun found that only 13% were planning to vote for him, far behind the LDP’s 47%; Most other polls register support in the single digits.

Campaigning is already underway in several districts but formally the campaign will start on October 19, followed by voting on October 31. Kishida is expected to hold a news conference on Thursday night.

(Reporting by Anthony Slodkowski. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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